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December 2017

That was November in London (and beyond) theatre land or Martin McDonagh month

 

Beginning-image-1000x572
Beginning, National Theatre

You wait ages then two Martin McDonagh plays come along...

 

* The Bridge Theatre announced a new play by McDonagh, The Very Very Very Dark Matter which opens in October 2018 and not only that it stars Jim Broadbent.

* Before that, in June, The Lieutenant of Inishmore is being revived by Michael Grandage at the Noel Coward Theatre from June starring Poldark's Aidan Turner.

* Grandage is also reviving John Logan's play Red which he originally directed at the Donmar. Alfred Molina returns as artist Mark Rothko while Alfred Enoch will play his assistant Ken. It is at the Wyndhams from May and is really good although I'll always be grateful I saw it in a small theatre.

* Elsewhere, Paines Plough is transferring three of its Edinburgh hits - Black Mountain, How To Be A Kid and Out Of Love - to run in rep at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond from Jan. And for those who do this sort of thing, you can see all three plays in one day.

* Carey Mulligan returns to the stage in Dennis Kelly’s Girls and Boys at the Royal Court from February next year.

* The fabulous play Beginning transfers from the Dorfman to the Ambassadors theatre from January.

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Review: Ups and downs of La Soiree, Aldwych Theatre

The beautiful Aldwych Theatre is hosting a winter season of La Soirée giving the cabaret/circus show a Moulin Rouge-style setting including on stage cafe-style chairs and tables. But where Moulin Rouge is suggestive and saucy, La Soirée sometimes leaves nothing to the imagination and occasionally pushes the boundaries of good taste - you have been warned.

There is plenty to enjoy and entertain including some vertigo-inducing acrobatics (but don't sit too far back in the stalls or you'll miss some of it). It is the feats of dexterity, strength and balance - and some of the puppetry - which make this a mesmerising and exciting show to watch. Some of it you may have seen before but there is plenty of stuff you won't have, for example former gymnasts Leon and Klondi defy gravity with jaw-dropping balances at seemingly impossible angles and Michelle Clark's hula hoop act was especially clever and spell-binding to watch.

It was also the first time I'd seen Mallakhamb which was performed on a thick pole (a bit of post show googling revealed it's an ancient Indian gymnastics-type sport).  The two performers climb up and down the pole sometimes using only their legs to hold themselves in seemingly impossible positions or to catch themselves as they drop. They sometimes synchronise there movements, balances and holds or combine into even more complex feats. It was electrifying to watch and drew gasps from the audience.

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